SMH Board OF COMMISSIONERS announces CEO BILL DAVIS has opted to leave SMH at the end of his contract term, Dec. 31, 2018

National search for new CEO being launched to ensure effective transition

Board praises Davis as ‘inspirational leader’


Slidell, LA – The Slidell Memorial Hospital (SMH) Board of Commissioners announced today that CEO Bill Davis has notified them of his intention to not renew his contract, which expires at the end of 2018. For personal family reasons, Davis will be leaving Slidell at the end of this year. At last night’s meeting, the SMH Board approved the hiring of Korn Ferry Associates to conduct a national search for the next SMH CEO, and Davis will play an integral role in selecting his successor. According to the most recently published data, Korn Ferry is the second largest executive healthcare recruiting firm in the U.S.

As CEO, Davis has led the hospital for six years after first serving as Chief Financial Officer from 2001 to 2012.  In these roles, he helped lead SMH from a precarious fiscal and operational situation to become a healthcare leader and important community resource. When Davis became CFO, SMH was in double technical default on its outstanding bond issues and had lost $12.8 million in 2000. He led an impressive financial turnaround, with the hospital generating a $776,600 income the very next year, in 2001. In the years since, SMH has made an income in every year, except 2011 and 2013. His efforts in restoring SMH to fiscal health were lauded in a commendation resolution by the Louisiana Legislature.

Under his leadership, successful initiatives included:

  • Improved patient safety and quality of care, which earned SMH top placement with national and healthcare industry ratings organizations
  • The new, expanded SMH Emergency Department and new SMH Heart Center
  • The SMH Community Outreach program that touches over 30,000 lives per year
  • 55% improvement in employee satisfaction measurements
  • 58% improvement in patient satisfaction measurements
  • The hospital’s partnership with Ochsner Health System, which expanded Davis’ role as he became Chief Executive Officer of the Slidell Market, which includes Slidell Memorial Hospital, Ochsner Medical Center – North Shore, related clinics and outpatient facilities. His efforts have led to more effectively organized care and the creation of more than 300 new jobs within the past two years. The partnership has added new services and medical specialists to our community that previously did not exist, such as:
    • Cancer clinical trials
    • Expanded cardiology services with the addition of a third Cardiac Catheterization Lab at SMH; Impella® technology, the world’s smallest heart pump to support patients’ hearts during high-risk heart procedures; and expanded heart surgery on-call to 24/7 coverage
    • Robot-assisted surgery
    • Recruited 24 physicians to provide primary care and specialized services locally
    • Specialty clinics, including the Comprehensive Weight Loss Center and the upcoming Back and Spine Center

"Bill Davis has been an inspirational leader for SMH, undertaking initiatives affecting employee culture, health programs and services, and community outreach to fulfill our mission to improve our community’s quality of life,” said Dan Ferrari, Board Chairman. "Since Bill joined this organization, he performed in an exemplary manner as CFO and CEO, improving our finances, our quality ratings, our employee morale and our patient satisfaction. Bill further demonstrated his management skills as CEO of the Slidell Market in defining the partnership. As CEO, he combined, managed and guided two organizations that were fierce competitors a few years ago into financial stability for both organizations, an increase in healthcare employment in the region, and lowered healthcare costs, as well as added services to this region. He has played a crucial role in positioning East St. Tammany to have a healthcare system that can support its citizens well into the future.”

"This is a bittersweet moment, and it is a difficult choice. I have loved being the CEO of Slidell Memorial Hospital and, more recently, Ochsner Medical Center – North Shore through our partnership. I cannot imagine working with a better group of people. The impressive talent enabled so many big, audacious goals to be set and achieved. It was their willingness to go after being the absolute best they could be as individuals and as a team that made the difference,” Davis said. "Together, we have redefined healthcare in our region. We have created a first-class set of hospitals and clinics. The Slidell market has physicians who are at the top of their field, awesome nurses who could choose to work anywhere, and other staff who are second to none in their fields. Most of all, we have made our community healthier, smarter about healthcare and we have given higher quality care to our patients while keeping costs in check.  To the local officials and community leaders who have befriended me and worked with me, I am forever indebted. Of course, I cannot go without thanking the citizens of East St. Tammany and Slidell for their support of our ambitious initiatives to create world-class facilities to keep people close to home for their medical treatment. It’s been an honor to have served in this role.”

Davis has also been a community leader in St. Tammany Parish, with his volunteer activities including East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce Chairman, St. Tammany (Economic) Development District President, STARC Board Member and United Way Leadership Council member. While leading so many great community support activities, Davis raised the image of SMH and set the example for its mission to improve the quality of life in our community.


He has earned several industry and community honors during his time in Louisiana. In 2014, he was named American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion for the state of Louisiana; a finalist in the National Community Leadership Award by Modern Healthcare and the East St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce Board Member of the Year. In 2015, Davis was honored as a New Orleans CityBusiness Healthcare Hero and a Safe Harbor Real Man of St. Tammany. In 2016, he was named American Hospital Association Political Action Committee Louisiana’s Most Valuable Player and graduated from the Leadership Louisiana Program.




Slidell Memorial Hospital is a full-service 229-bed acute care not-for-profit community hospital located at 1001 Gause Blvd., in the heart of Slidell. Founded in 1959, SMH serves as a primary healthcare resource for families in St. Tammany Parish, La.; and, Pearl River County, Miss. For more information, visit . The hospital’s main phone number is (985) 280-2200.


Media contact:

Sam Caruso, Jr.

Slidell Memorial Hospital

(985) 280-8834